The yell of a fútbol commentator echoed around the Irish Pub that we were in earlier this evening, but none of us were paying much attention.
After class today, we all went back to our houses for Comida, the middle and largest meal of five that make up the typical daily eating schedule in Mexico. My host mother served me a soup made with many types of veggies and chicken broth. Then, I had a fried chop (I assume it was pork) with shredded carrots and refried beans on the side with a tortilla to scoop it all up. I learned today during Comida that everything tastes better with lemon or lime freshly squeezed on top.
After Comida, I worked on homework until 7pm. Then, I walked myself to the Plaza de Armas which is the main plaza in Querétaro. It is about a mile from my host house. There, I met up with everyone from our group. We then walked a couple blocks to a bar to watch the fútbol game featuring the United States vs. Argentina.
The bar we went to ended up being a totally decked-out Irish Pub. There was green and Guinness and Heineken everywhere. The back wall in one of the rooms was covered with stacks of Guinness cans from the floor to ceiling. There were only two tvs in the main area and both were showing the game. But, none of us were paying much attention.
When we heard the commentator yell, “GOOOOAAALLLLL” as Argentina scored on the US within the first two minutes, we knew that the US was going to be having a rough time. But, we didn’t mind. Most of us where there for the company of one another, and well, because 18 is legal in Mexico.
Now, although I just finished my first year of college, a time when many under aged Americans throw themselves at all of the opportunities to get completely drunk on cheap booze and return home to their dorms puking their guts out, I was not one such freshman student this past year. My two suitemates at OSU were doing enough of that for all three of us. But, before coming to Mexico, I decided that I would have a drink now and then while abroad and tonight was the first night.
As I began browsing the menu, I quickly became aware that all of the names of the drinks and descriptions were in Spanish. This is really not helpful when I would have struggled plenty navigating the very same menu in English. But, as I browsed, I saw a familiar word that immediately made me think of my mother and sounded like the perfect first drink to have in Mexico: Margarita.
My parents often order Margaritas when we go out for Mexican food in Astoria, so, I figured they must be good. I mean, it’s just a lime flavored slushy with a salted rim, right? I didn’t see why I wouldn’t like it. And, even if I didn’t like it, it only cost $80 pesos, less than $4.50 US, so it wasn’t a big loss either way and I figured it would be worth knowing for the future whether or not I like Margaritas. So, when the waiter came around, I ordered myself a blended Margarita in Spanish.
When the Margarita was brought out to me, it was served in what I would call a Martini glass, not the large bowl-on-a-stick glasses that I was accustom to my parents’ Margaritas being served in. After snapping a photo for memory’s sake, I took my first sip and man… did I feel it hit!
Now, let me tell you that when I say I have never had an entire alcoholic beverage before, I truly mean it. Growing up Episcopalian, over the years, I have consumed more alcohol from weekly sips of watered-down Sunday Communion wine than all of the other alcohol that I have ever consumed in my life combined. To my virgin tongue, this Margarita tasted very strong. But, then again, I had no reference point to compare it to. One of my class mates, who happens to love Margaritas, also ordered one and she said that they were in fact strong Margaritas. The salt around the rim was appalling and once I licked it off in one spot wide enough for my lips, I was sure to keep sipping from that very same spot to avoid any more salted-rim nastiness. Also, I could feel it burn in my stomach from the inside out like the church wine does on the weeks that it is, well, not so good.
So, as I am sure you can tell, Margaritas do not happen to be a drink that I am fond of. Apparently, this is something that I did not inherit from my mother. Nor did I inherit the uncontrollable urge to fall into a deep Margarita-induced nap after returning home from the restaurant like she always does as it is now almost 1am and I finish writing this reflection of my day.
We all finished our drinks and other snacks well before the fútbol game was over and we returned to our homes. I don’t know what the final game score ended up being, but my money is on Argentina as they were up by at least three when we left. However, I do know that the final score for me tonight ended up being Margarita: 1, Rachel: 0. But that’s totally fine with me. I think that next time I am going to try a Piña Colada. Fingers crossed that it doesn’t make my lips pucker as much as tonight’s Margarita did!
On our way home, we ended up passing a bakery and one of my classmates and I scurried in to buy a dulce (sweet treat) since we have been wanting to try this bakery all week but its always been closed in the past. I bought a chocolate pastry with coffee flavored cream for only $15 pesos, less than fifty cents. It was so rich and sweet and amazing after that nasty, bitter Margarita. This bakery is somewhere that I will definitely visit again and way more my style than the Irish Pub was.